Helping Others


You Can Help


If you suspect someone may be feeling suicidal, ask them – it could save their life. You can help.


Ask if they are thinking about suicide.

You may feel frightened to bring up the subject of suicide in case you think it will put the idea in their head.


This is not true.


Don’t hesitate to raise the subject. Be direct in a caring and supportive way.


  • Listen and show you care
  • Let the person talk about their feelings
  • Listen carefully to what they have to say
  • Don’t judge them and rather than dismissing their thoughts as ‘silly’
  • Try and understand why they are feeling this way



Let them know you care.


Encourage them to get help

and support them to do so

Asking and listening are the first steps in developing a sense of hope. You may feel too out of your depth to help further, but there are people out there who can.


Encourage the person to make an appointment with their GP, or to call Breathing Space, or Samaritans (see the Urgent Help section for contact details). If the person has immediate suicide plans, and the means to carry it out, urge them to phone 999.


The SAMH 'Suicide… How to ask?' card is a simple step-by-step guide to asking the question, "are you thinking about suicide?"


Click here to find out more.